August 3, 2015

Did You Give Up on that Income Opportunity Too Soon?

“We already thought of that. It doesn’t work here.”

“We have a parking lot and there is a parking shortage in the area,” Catherine shared. “A CPA on our board advised us that it would cause tax issues for us to rent out parking spots. And, of course, we’d have to hire someone, so we let it drop.”

Many nonprofits, like Catherine’s group, declare income opportunities dead before their time. Of course, you don’t mean or intend to do this. You want income. You are trying. It’s just that what you’ve tried or thought hasn’t worked so far. Your experience misleads you to believe that an opportunity or even whole income stream is kaput for you.

This happens in all walks of life.

We go to the library and it’s closed. We go to the bank. It’s closed. When we go to the post office and when we find it closed, too, we wonder, “What’s wrong with these people?”

Until we realize it’s us. It’s a legal holiday.

Our thinking opens up and we change our perspective.

Most nonprofits can’t afford to give up viable income opportunities. To tap more income, decide that income opportunities you’ve declared dead might actually just be in a coma. Then assess fresh thinking, different perspectives, and expertise.

Nonprofits have seven income streams. Over time, each stream has proven extremely reliable in creating income. Successful nonprofits find ways to tap all seven streams.

While any given stream, in terms of returns, many not provide enough income for you to continue to invest in it (which is different than deciding it’s impossible), in all likelihood you can tap all seven streams.

When it comes to nonprofit income, as Jen Filla in her review of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams said, “It’s not about grants or fundraising, it’s about everything.”

For more answers, check out this Nonprofit CEO Library.

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Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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